Saturday, April 19, 2014

Forgiveness is hard, but...

We are all called, as Christians, to find the grace to forgive, just as, Christ did from the Cross. It's good for our souls and general well being. 

Penance (justice) is still required for the offender regardless of whether that person seeks forgiveness or not. There is always a penalty to pay, even for those who strive to keep the act unnoticed. Those who work to sweep it under the carpet have their sins (crimes) intertwined with the offender and may be committing the greater crime (sin). Justice is mandatory.

Many bad things happened to me in my youth that hurt a lot, especially, when my memory would torture me with it. When I began to come back to my faith that forgiveness part was a challenge. How could I do that? My anger and hurt were clearly justifiable. 

But there was that forgiveness part. So I said I forgive the hurt inflicted on me. Not really. God is no dummy. He knows it's hard. I kept at it and eventually found that, for me, asking that the person be forgiven by the Lord, that they be blessed and saying a prayer for them worked. My memories of those moments are still there, but the anger and hurt has vanished. 

This was clearly a plus for me. I have no idea whether my prays had any effect on those who harmed me. But I wasn't carrying that load of anger, hurt and hate around with me anymore. Forgiveness is truly good for the soul.

Lent ends at midnight, but, this lenten reflection is good for the whole year. (especially for me)

A Lenten Reflection

“Give up complaining----focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism----become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments----think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry----trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement----be full of hope.
Give up bitterness----turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred----return good for evil.
Give up negativism----be positive.
Give up anger----be more patient.
Give up pettiness----become mature.
Give up gloom----enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy----pray for trust.
Give up gossiping----control your tongue.
Give up sin----turn to virtue.
Give up giving up----hang in there!”

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